Just yesterday we covered the GoFundMe that was started to cover a part of the cost of the border wall that President Trump has been calling for since he started his campaigning. It seems that it may be closer than we thought.
News broke today that funding to the tune of $5.7 billion has passed through the House of Representatives in a 217-185 vote. Only eight Republicans voted no against the bill which will now go before the Senate. The likelihood of it getting much father, however, is quite slim though it does leave the ball in the Democrat’s court.
The 49 Democrats in the Senate have all stated their opposition to the funding and to the border wall itself meaning the chances of this bill receiving the necessary 60 votes is close to unlikely. That said, Trump had previously given until midnight tomorrow for the funding to pass otherwise he will initiate a government shutdown which means plenty of government employees from different departments and agencies will all be sent home before the holidays; a potentially damaging political move for both sides. If the funding is not included, Trump has stated that he will not approve or enact any Senate-passed packages.
This all comes on the same day that Trump had announced the unilateral withdrawal from Syria and whispers of a full withdrawal from Afghanistan in the not-too-distant future as well. As Trump has stated that he is willing to use military funding towards the wall, these withdrawals may be connected and part of an overarching strategy to force it’s construction, with or without the Senate’s approval. This move also comes at the time that the Secretary of Defense, Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, announced his impending resignation over his disagreement regarding the Syria decision.
It will be interesting to see how the Senate reacts considering the moves with foreign policy and it’s potential relation to the border wall and domestic plans. If I was a betting man I would say they will still vote against the border wall which in turn would put the ball right back into Trump’s court; something he’s likely aiming for.